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Chapter IV

Procedure


16. Application to Claims Tribunal.

(1) A person seeking any relief in respect of the matters referred to in [sub-sections (1) and (1-A) of Sec.13 may make an application to the Claims Tribunal.

(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be in such form and be accompanied by such documents or other evidence and by such fee in respect of the filing of such application and by such other fees for the service or execution of processes as may be prescribed :

    Provided that no such fee shall be payable in respect of an application under sub-clause (ii) of Cl. (a) of sub-section (1) [or, as the case may be, sub-section (1-A)] of Sec.13.

17. Limitation.

(1) the Claims Tribunal shall not admit an application for any claim-

        (a) under sub-clause (i) of Cl. (a) of sub-section (1) of Sec.13 unless the application is made within three years from the date on which the goods in question were entrusted to the railway administration for carriage by railway;

        (b) under sub-clause (ii) of Cl. (a) of sub-section (1) [or, as the case may be, sub-section (1-A)] of Sec. 13 unless the application is made within one year of occurrence of the accident;

        (c) under Cl. (b) of sub-section (1) of  Sec.13 unless the application is made within three years from the date on which the fare or freight is paid to the railway administration :

    Provided that no application for any claim referred to in sub-clause (i) of Cl. (a) of sub-section (1) of Sec.13 shall be preferred to the Claims Tribunal until the expiration of three months next after the date on which the intimation of the claim has been preferred under Sec.78-B of the Railways Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) an application may be entertained after the period specified in sub-section (1) if the applicant satisfies the Claims Tribunal that he had sufficient cause for not making the applicant within such period.

18. Procedure and powers of Claims Tribunal.

(1) The Claims Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), but shall be guided by the principles of nature justice and, subject to the other provisions of this Act and of any rules, the Claims Tribunal shall have powers to regulate its own procedure including the fixing of places and times of its enquiry.

(2) The Claims Tribunal shall decide every application as expeditiously as possible and ordinarily every application shall be decided on a perusal of documents, written representations and affidavits and after hearing such oral arguments as may be advanced.

(3) The Claims Tribunal shall have, for the purposes of discharging its functions under this Act, the same power as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely :

        (a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

        (b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;

        (c) receiving evidence on affidavits ;

        (d) subject to the provisions of Secs, 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office ;

        (e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents; 

        (f) reviewing its decisions;

        (g) dismissing an application for default or deciding it ex parte;

        (h) setting aside any order of dismissal or any application for default or any order passed by it ex parte;

        (i) any other matter which may be prescribed.

19. Right to legal representation and presenting officers.-(1) A person making an application to the Claims Tribunal may either appear in person or take the assistance of a legal practitioner of his choice to present his case before the Claims Tribunal.

(2) A railway administration may authorise one or more legal practitioners or any of its officers to act as presenting officers and every person so authorised by it may present its case with respect to any application before the Claims Tribunal.     

20. Power of Chairman to transfer cases from one Bench to another.- On the application of any of the parties and after notice to the parties, and after hearing such of them as he may desire to be heard, or on his own motion without such notice, the Chairman may transfer any case pending before one bench, for disposal, to any other Bench.

21. Decision to be by majority.- If the members of a Bench differ in opinion on any point, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and make a reference to the Chairman who shall either hear the point or points himself or refer the case for hearing on such point or points by one or more of the other members and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the members who have heard the case, including those who first heard it.

22. Execution of order of Claims Tribunal.

(1) An order made by the Claims Tribunal under this Act shall be executable by the Claims Tribunal as a decree of Civil Court and, for this purpose, the Claims Tribunal shall have all the powers of a  Civil Court.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) the Claims Tribunal may transmit any order made by it to a Civil Court having local jurisdiction and such Civil Court shall execute the order as if it were a decree made by that Court.